Archive for the 'Entertainment' Category

Cold Weather Striped Bass on Lake Martin

When the weather gets cold on Lake Martin, the striped bass fishing heats up!

Last November I happened to be up near the Irwin Shoals area of Lake Martin, where the Tallapoosa River sort of becomes the lake. Low and behold I saw my friend David Hare there, trolling for stripes around Jaybird Landing. I happened to have my “aerial camera” with me so I sent it out to get a few clips of David and his clients.

David is a super nice guy, and you won’t find a more knowledgeable guide on Lake Martin when it comes to striped bass. Contact Alex City Guide Service at 256-401-3089 for more information or visit their website here: http://www.alexcityguideservice.com/

I will say this, too, about David. He cares about Lake Martin and the surrounding area. He’s from here and lives on the lake and fishes it just about every day of the year. He does not breeze in from another city with flashy marketing yet no substance. You are not going to find him doing stuff like “guides” Michael Perry and James Blanks – who were cited for introducing illegal bait fish into Smith Lake.

It totally blows my mind that people that hold themselves out as guides would (allegedly) break the law like this and introduce an invasive species like blueback herring. Folks from the state Department of Natural Resources say they have also found blueback herring in Lake Martin. I pray that they don’t take hold.

Henry Cowen – a guide par excellence and a nationally recognized expert in freshwater striped bass, told me personally that the illegal blueback herring was the worst thing to ever happen to Lake Lanier.

In my constant pursuit to learn how to catch the striped bass on the fly rod on Lake Martin, I have been fortunate enough to go fishing with a few guides this fall. I will write about all of this later.

But one thing continues to be reinforced to me – if you are considering hiring a fishing guide on Lake Martin, or anywhere for that matter, be sure to do your homework. Make sure you’re not giving your hard earned money to some ya-hoo.

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Labor Day 2015 at Lake Martin

lake martin bridge train

Lake Martin, Alabama, is the place to be on Labor Day.

What else would you expect me to say? I sell real estate here at Lake Martin. But the truth it the truth.

Here are a few things to do, a few events around Lake Martin for Labor Day 2015.  Keep in mind, they are not in order of importance, just order as they come to mind. If you want the best way to keep up with Lake Martin events, and an easy way to find the restaurants, shops, and landmarks I mention, download my FREE APP here.

Lake Martin Labor Day Weekend To Do list:

Friday Night On the Green – at Russell Crossroads

Saturday Pancake Breakfast – at Russell Crossroads

Saturday Lunch into Afternoon – watch football at The Landing at Parker Creek

Saturday Night – get your carb on at Lake Martin Pizza Co. or Oskar’s.

Sunday Night – Concert at The Amp – Railroad Earth is the headliner but my money is on the Vegabonds.

The above are all pretty easy spots to find. Are you up for more of a challenge?

If so, then pierce the mysteries of NOCR – North Of Chimney Rock, that is. There is a movement among its adherents that NOCR is always the choice of the Lake Martin fan with discriminating tastes. It’s been described as “the non-palooza side of the lake.”

OK.

So I will announce a few of its treasures with decided non-palooza vagueness. No websites. No hashtags:

  • Peanut Point
  • That Ice Cream Place at Wind Creek Park
  • Smith Mountain Fire Tower
  • Tying up at the railroad trestle

An alternative to all of this is to go on a boat ride, 1970s style. In the 1970s, little grasshoppers, there were no cell phones. There were no land line phones, either, pretty much, because there was no sense in paying for service (and leasing a phone) for only half of the year. So when we went to see friends, we could not call them to see if they were there ahead of time. We just drove over there, totally without notice and without a sound track. We were also probably drinking real Cokes, too.

Downside – yes, there were strikeouts. But the upside is that when you found someone at home, it was a real treat. As the person who is potentially being visited, I can tell you it is great. Back in the 70s, when you saw another boat driving towards you in your slough, well, it was better than a package from Amazon.

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Jazz Fest 2015 Tonight At The Amp

If you missed last night’s Jazz Fest in downtown Alex City, fear not, you have a chance tonight.

Every year, the Alex City Jazz Fest puts on one of the state’s best free musical events. Friday night is always in downtown Alex City at what is now the Strand Park. Saturday nights are at The Amp, the incredible amphitheater that overlooks Lake Martin.

Tonight, June 13, 2015, the lineup is:

6:30    The Chad Fisher Group

8:00  Hotel Oscar

9:30 The Revivalists

Like I said, The Amp is a really cool venue and the admission is free. You can’t beat that. I think that the local VFD takes a collection for parking but it’s well worth it.

Lake Martin Voice Realty is a long time sponsor of the Alex City Jazz Fest!!

How to Find Lake Martin Events

The best way to keep up with all events at Lake Martin is to download my FREE app, Lake Martin Voice.  Here’s a quick video of how it works for Events:


The app is available for iOS in the Apple Store and Android also. Like I said, it’s FREE. The app also has a quick guide to Lake Martin area restaurants, marinas, a real estate search, weather, and more.

Lake Martin Voice app for Apple

Lake Martin Voice App

 

 

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New Lake Martin Voice App

We are pleased to announce a brand new free app for the Lake Martin area!   The Lake Martin Voice app is your mobile guide to the Lake Martin, Alabama, area. We offer mobile waterfront real estate search and events, mapped guides to restaurants (with menus), shops, weather, and much more!

Lake Martin Voice app

As you can see above, the different tabs you can click through to navigate and learn more about what’s near you or happening at the lake are:

  • Homes – every single home & lot for sale in the Lake Martin MLS, at your fingertips. Use our fast searches like “New Listings” or “Price Drops” or create your own custom search. Cruise by boat and see what’s for sale around you if you share your location with the app.
  • Eats – Restaurants on and off the water around Lake Martin, mapped, with menus
  • Events – what’s going on this week? Next month? Click and scroll to find out.
  • Fun – Other things to do like where to hike, where to bike, boat ramps, golf courses, churches, and more.
  • Weather & Water – conditions right now at Lake Martin.
  • Marinas – mapped locations of all Marinas, plus contact info. Share your location with the app and see where you are, too!
  • Shops – retail therapy locations on and off water
  • News – the skinny on Lake Martin stuff

For example, here’s what the “Eats” section looks like. If you share your location, you can see where you are in relation to the restaurants. I snapped this screen shot when I was over on the east side of Lake Martin. If you want to browse around the map, you can. Or, if you want to scroll through the list at the bottom, you can do that to. Your call!

The Shops, Eats, and Marinas sections all work similarly, in that you can browse by map or by list. Every single Lake Martin marina is listed, but you will notice not every restaurant and store are. We purposely left out big chains like Wal-Mart or McDonalds. Nothing against them, but there are plenty of maps and apps that can help you find them easily. Our goal here is to make a special point to mention the locally owned businesses that are so frequently overlooked by visitors. For that matter, there are Alex City folks that are unfamiliar with the Dadeville side, and vice versa, so hopefully it helps them, too!

The Lake Martin Voice app is available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play for Androids.

App_Store_Badge_EN Google_Play_Logo_2855

 

For more information, please see our FAQ page at: Lake Martin Voice app FAQ 

If you want to request to have an event, restaurant, or shop listed in the app, you can fill out request forms below.

CLICK HERE to request for a shop be added.

CLICK HERE to request for an event to be added.

CLICK HERE to request for a restaurant to be added.

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12 More Weeks of Summer at Lake Martin

I’m sure you’ve already seen this on national news and the interwebs, but just in case, the breaking news around Lake Martin is that Kowaliga Kevin, the Poodle of Prognostication, has predicted twelve more weeks of summer here at Lake Martin. So even though the calendar says “Fall,” – Mr. Kevin says we will have more summer to enjoy.

Here’s the video of a local news department covering the event:

So there’s no need to pack up and leave Lake Martin as the calendar ticks toward January first. You can have plenty to do and explore around Lake Martin in the cooler months, too. Now that Mr. Kevin has guaranteed the time, you can plan with confidence.

I have to say, after witnessing this event many years in a row, Kowaliga Kevin is always right. No offense to Punxsutawney Phil, but maybe dogs are better at this sort of thing.

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Lake Martin Striped Bass Report

Do you like to fish for stripers on Lake Martin? Then you definitely need to contact Captain David Hare of Alex City Guide Service. He sends out his Striper Reports every month or so and I think they are invaluable. David is a really nice guy, plus a great guide.

David Hare Striper Fishing Guide Lake Martin

I always slightly mourn the passing of summer, but one of the many fun things to do on Lake Martin in the fall is to try and catch a striped bass. I am already looking at some dates to try and book David or one of his other guides. As I have written in previous years, my big goal is to figure out how to catch these monsters on my fly rod.

While David is not a fly fisherman, he can put you on the striped bass here at Lake Martin.

If you would like to buy some Lake Martin property, call me, I would love to help you out.

If you want to catch striped bass or other fish, call David at the number below, and let him know John Coley said hi!!

Here’s a sample report from September 1o, 2014:

Lake Martin
September 10th,2014
488.76(490.00 full pool)
Surface Temp: 85-88
Water Clarity: Clear to very clear

October is really nice fishing weather for the most part and here on Lake Martin in Alabama is no exception. The fall temps should start cooling the water down some and in return should produce more bites overall !

This October I am predicting it to be one of the best yet for stripers on Lake Martin. One of the reasons I feel this way is because I’m already seeing some transition in the stripers both small and trophy size. I think you are going to have a little easier time finding them than in the past few Octobers and I think you are going to be pleased with the quality of the catch.

The days are getting shorter and will continue to do this for several more weeks which means you can stay until dark for that last minute bite and still make it home for supper with the family !

I will be checking all of the hot spots for October stripers but don’t be surprised if you see me in the abnormal locations too. I am leaving nothing uncovered this fall because this summer I scouted a lot of areas that I have been overlooking and found some areas that I think will produce in October !

Here at Alex City Guide Service we want to thank everyone that did night trips this summer with us and looking forward to seeing everybody this fall for the day trips !

Until next time get off the couch and wet a hook!
Captain David Hare
Alex City Guide Service
Lake Martin
256-401-3089
[email protected]

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A New Restaurant for Parker Creek!

My Saturday was spent with a fun couple from Georgia, showing them Lake Martin waterfront homes for sale in Parker Creek.  Around lunchtime, we had an hour break in between showings and I was starving.  But with only an hour to spare, our lunch options were limited: bottled water and peanut buter crackers at the Parker Creek Marina were the best we could do.  And I was thankful for those.

Fast forward a year to next summer, same situation, except I plan to have lunch with my clients at Parker Creek Marina’s new restaurant.  That’s right – Parker Creek Marina is opening a restaurant in 2015, and I think it’s a great addition for the west side of the Lake Martin.  Below is a picture I took of their plan.  It’s on a bulletin board inside the ship’s store, so it’s available for everyone to check out.

New Parker Creek Restaurant

The back story on this restaurant has to do with the elusive Parker Creek food boat I’ve been searching for.  There were plans for a food boat (like Nibblers Float Thru Grill near Blue Creek), but the marina was told it had to install new septic in order to run this boat and be up to code.  They decided if they had to have new septic, they might as well have a permanent restaurant on their premises.  Parker Creek is such a popular area of the lake, and there just aren’t many restaurants close by.  I hope they have wild success, and I will gladly swap in my bottled water and crackers for whatever fare they decide to serve.

If you’re looking for a waterfront home in Parker Creek, the addition of this restaurant makes this area even more attractive. Give me a call and let’s talk Lake Martin real estate. I’m a full time agent at Lake Martin, and 100% of my realtor time is devoted to helping clients buy and sell property here.  I can help you with any listing in the Lake Martin MLS, regardless of who has it listed.  I’d love to help you, too.

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Destination Peanut Point

One of the things that I love about Lake Martin is that I am constantly learning about new spots – rope swings, skiing sloughs, hiking trails, fishing haunts.  Despite the fact that I’m a full time real estate agent here, and despite the fact that I grew up in Alex City, rarely does a week go by where I do not learn of a new road or a new slough on Lake Martin.

For example, I read a recent issue of LAKE Magazine, and I learned about Peanut Point (“A Visit to Peanut Point” July 2014).  I know, I know, many of you readers are rolling your eyes right now.  How could I not know about Peanut Point??  But after I read about it, I had to seek it out.  I realized I had driven by there once before, last May, and wondered, “What in the world is going on here?”

We have some good friends who have a lake house on what they call the “Non-Palooza” side of Lake Martin, and they are Peanut Point regulars.  They offered to bring us by, and it was a lot of fun! There’s something exciting about driving up by boat and getting boiled peanuts.  Lake Martin + boiled peanuts = Fun.

Peanut Point

Granted, I am a huge fan of boiled peanuts.  A couple of football seasons ago I boiled a bushel of my own one Saturday for a marathon session of watching SEC football.  I ate so many that the next morning I awoke convinced I had a stomach virus.  My wife gently reminded me that my sodium intake the previous day was gargantuan.  Never-the-less, she let me lay out of church that morning.

To find Peanut Point:  There’s a very small cut thru on the west side of Woods Island.  It separates Woods Island from the mainland where the Alex City version of Young’s Ferry Road peters out into a dirt track.  If you don’t know where that is, go to Bay Pines Marina and ask them.  They will tell you to travel south/southwest, or about seven o’clock on the clock face.

Map to Peanut Point Lake Martin, AL

A gentle reminder to my readers that I am a Lake Martin realtor, and I do not sell boiled peanuts.  If you call me to ask if Peanut Point is open, I will tell you “Yes!” 100% of the timeI’d love to help you research Lake Martin real estate, but I’m leaving the boiled peanuts to the experts.

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Lots to Do at Russell Crossroads at Lake Martin

Lately, when selling Lake Martin waterfront real estate, I’m talking a lot more about the growing number of off-the-water Lake Martin activities – things to do that add to the fun we have year round and simply make life here more convenient.  Our exceptional on-the-water activities are the obvious sell, so it’s fun to get to brag on our fall, winter and spring attractions, too.  We are becoming a well-rounded second home market.

Take Russell Crossroads, for example.  There’s been so much going on there this summer: Yoga on the Green, Friday night concerts, wine tastings.  But did you know that a lot of what Russell Crossroads offers is not summer specific – the restaurants, the grocery and deli shopping, the stables, the trails.  You can enjoy these all year long.

I realized I had not shot a video from Russell Crossroads in a couple of years, so here’s quick, updated tour.  For buyers out there who are wondering what Lake Martin offers in the non-summer months, check it out:

I’m a full time Lake Martin real estate agent, and I can help you with any property in the Lake Martin Area MLS.  Give me a call (334 221 5862) and lets talk about making Lake Martin your year round vacation destination.

Related blog posts and videos:

Grab Your Bike and Meet Me at the Market

Russell Forest Trail Hike Video

How to Get to Catherine’s Market by Boat

When at Springhouse, Follow Sam’s Advice

Warning: Catherine’s Market Has Ice Cream

 

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When at Springhouse, Follow Sam’s Advice

That would be Sam Fonte, the Restaurant Manager and Certified Sommelier at Lake Martin’s Springhouse restaurant.  In early July, my wife and I left our kids at the cabin with their grandparents and had a date night dinner at Springhouse.  The whole evening was outstanding, and Sam was a big part of the experience.

That Springhouse can exist at Lake Martin is pretty incredible.  The food is so good, the staff so competent, and the atmosphere so elegant, it is easy to forget you are in rural, central Alabama.  Even our Atlanta foodie friends are impressed – one couple compared the quality of food and service at Springhouse to upscale Atlanta restaurants that charge a whole lot more.  Hats off to all involved who make this restaurant work so well.

Cheese Plate Springhouse Lake Martin

Cheese Plate with local honey, blueberry jam, walnuts, angel biscuit.

I’m smart enough to realize that liking good food and wine, and knowing about good food and wine are two different things, so when I eat somewhere nice I ask a lot of questions.  My wife usually cringes when I start peppering the staff with queries, but even she gave in once the food and drinks began to arrive at our table.  The highlight of the meal was dessert: Sam recommended a Sherry to pair with the Samoa Ice Cream sandwich and Wow!  I must rethink my Lake Martin + Food associations.  I love a blackened catfish sandwich with hush puppies, but I also like the 1985 Don PX Gran Reserva with vanilla ice cream.

Dessert at Springhouse Lake Martin

Samoa Ice Cream Sandwich with Sherry

And now we can all have both!

If you haven’t tried Springhouse, I highly recommend you go.  They serve dinner Wednesday-Saturday from 5:30pm – 10pm, and brunch on Sunday from 10am – 2pm.  Call a few days ahead for reservations  (256.215.7080) during the summer.  Please do not call me, however, for I am a Lake Martin real estate agent, and I cannot make a reservation for your party of four.  Ask Sam if you have any questions and enjoy fine dining at Lake Martin!

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